Technology

SpaceX secures five more NASA astronaut missions as part of a $1.4 billion contract

As expected, NASA has ordered five more astronaut missions from SpaceX in a new $1.44 billion contract, elevating the entire quantity of Crew Dragon launches to 14. It’s designed to make sure a regular movement of crew members to the International Space Station (ISS), as SpaceX rival Boeing struggles to get its personal Starliner crew system launch-ready. 

The newest award “allows NASA to maintain an uninterrupted U.S. capability for human access to the space station until 2030, with two unique commercial crew industry partners,” the space company mentioned in a press launch. It brings the entire Commercial Crew Transportation Capability (CCtCap) contract with SpaceX to $4.93 billion. 

SpaceX was licensed for crew transportation in November 2020, launching its newest Crew-4 mission on April 27, 2022. Earlier this year, NASA announced that it will order three extra missions for $900 million, upping its authentic $2.6 billion contract to $3.49 billion. 

All of that is to the detriment of Boeing, which has suffered quite a few delays with its Starliner capsule that is appropriate with ULA’s Atlas V and different rockets. Following a lengthy delay because of valve points, the newest unmanned take a look at flight launched on May nineteenth this year, with the capsule returning to Earth six days later. The first crewed flight was initially deliberate for 2017, however nonetheless hasn’t launched. Boeing and NASA at the moment are targeting early 2023 for the primary mission carrying astronauts. 

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